AERA Executive Director Comments on Federal Open Access Policies
AERA Executive Director Comments on Federal Open Access Policies
May 2013 

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine submitted statements presented at public meetings last week on increasing access to the results of federally funded scientific research at two events held by the National Research Council’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.

In a statement on public access to publications reporting federally supported research and development, Levine reiterated AERA’s support for providing public access to research and scholarly articles, citing examples of the association’s leadership in open access. She also requested that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) consider AERA’s recommendations with a “commitment to flexibility, experimentation, and collaboration” to ensure that changes in scientific publishing allow for the sustainability of the significant role that societies play in knowledge dissemination and other programming.

Levine, in another statement on public access to federally supported research and development data, urged “OSTP and related agencies to develop macro-level plans that not only require data management and sharing from grantees, but also more broadly take steps and allocate resources to foster and facilitate a culture of data sharing and use.”  Noting that data sharing and responsible data use were specified in the AERA Code of Ethics, she emphasized the importance of allowing for data sharing of confidential data under restricted access conditions consistent with consent agreements and privacy protection. 

Levine also cited AERA's data sharing initiative being undertaken by the AERA Grants Program  in collaboration with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Made possible by support from the National Science Foundation, she said this project fosters data use and also appropriate citation of data to credit scholars who produce these valuable products.

On May 9, President Obama signed an Executive Order on Open Data and issued an Open Data Policy for all federal agencies. The policy is designed to be consistent with a February 22 OSTP memorandum on increasing access to the results of federally funded research, which was reported previously in Highlights.
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